Veterans play an important role in the world of franchising. After leaving active duty and returning to civilian life, many continue to serve our country through entrepreneurship. There are over 66,000 veteran-owned businesses in the country that add $41 billion to the U.S. GDP every year. Franchises for veterans through VetFran specifically encourage franchise ownership by offering financial incentives to discharged veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who are interested in starting their own business.
To honor our service members, both past and present, for this upcoming Memorial Day, we’re taking a look at how franchises are giving back to the men and women who have bravely given so much to our country. Read on to find out what franchises are doing to salute our service members in this edition of Friday Franchising.
Shoney’s Offers Free All-American Burger to Veterans and Troops
Iconic family-friendly casual dining restaurant Shoney’s has supported the troops for generations. Shoney’s is continuing this tradition Memorial Day by serving a free All-American Burger and fries to all veterans and active duty military members. Mr. David Davoudpour, Chairman and CEO of Shoney’s explains that it is the franchise’s way of remembering, honoring and thanking the heroes who have fought for our freedom. Shoney’s looks forward to welcoming America’s military this Monday (May 30, 2016).
CruiseOne Hosts Annual Contest for Military Veterans
For the fifth year in a row, home-based travel franchise CruiseOne / Dream Vacations will be hosting its annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest, which has given away $250,000 in franchise opportunities to 20 military veterans since inception. Military veterans interested in an adventure with a new career selling all types travel experiences from the comfort of their home can enter the contest beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016, through Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. Five winners will be notified in September 2016. Each grand prize is valued at $12,700 and includes a complimentary CruiseOne / Dream Vacations franchise with a waived $9,800 initial start-up fee and monthly service fees.
Marco’s Pizza Launches Program to Support Vets
Marco’s Pizza is no stranger to supporting U.S. military veterans and now the iconic pizza franchise has introduced a veterans recruiting initiative to further support a commitment to helping veterans become successful franchise owners. 20-year army vet Scott Quagliata will hold the position of Vice President, Veterans Program and Recruitment. The newly created role will be responsible for bringing former military members into the franchise family and guiding them through the structured program to rise in the ranks. The veterans program will roll out as a pilot in late spring and early summer 2016 in the Southeast, with initial recruitment efforts focusing on military bases in Columbia, South Carolina (Fort Jackson); Savannah, Georgia (Fort Stewart); and Columbus, Georgia (Fort Benning).
Study Supports Small Business Ownership as Second Career for Vets
A recent survey conducted by The UPS Store revealed nearly nine in 10 veterans and active duty service members plan to have a second career after they separate from the military. Furthermore, of those surveyed, 63% envisioned a second career as a small business owner owning a franchise and 68% feel that training will help them overcome their concerns transitioning to the civilian workforce. Veterans have a strong desire to be their own boss and apply skills developed during service to owning a business. Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. and former U.S. Marine Corps captain and Gulf War Veteran strives to make The UPS Store an appealing opportunity for veterans, offering substantial discounts and support. Since 2004, more than 150 veterans have opened The UPS Store franchises.
Sports Clips Stays True to Veteran Focused Roots
Sports Clips Haircuts has been focused on supporting our veterans since its founding by Air Force veteran Gordon Logan. For 22 years, Logan has worked to make Sports Clips a strong veteran-focused franchise that has welcomed over 50 veterans to the team. Sports Clips is the “Official Haircutter” of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and has collectively contributed almost $4 million to support the VFW Foundation through its “Help a Hero” program. Sports Clips also supports numerous veteran organizations and actively engages in the International Franchise Association (IFA) VetFran program where Logan has served as the VetFran program chairman and veteran mentor.
Sixth Annual Stars for Heroes Campaign Kicks Off
Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s have launched their sixth annual Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign. Since 2011, the program has supported more than 68 U.S. military charities nationwide and has raised over $5 million to support military-oriented organizations. This year’s campaign will support Gary Sinise Foundation, Stand Up and Play Foundation, and USA Cares, along with dozens of regional and local military-focused charities in the communities the fast food franchises serve. Last year the fundraiser garnered over $1.4 million and hopes to exceed the previous years’ donations. Participating locations will be accepting donations through June 21, 2016.